Baytown: Mike Ashley preview

Mike Ashley Facing a Bittersweet Return to Racing in Houston BAYTOWN, Texas (March 27, 2007) - Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger, said the racing will be bittersweet this weekend at the O'Reilly NHRA Southern ...

Mike Ashley Facing a Bittersweet Return to Racing in Houston

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 27, 2007) - Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger, said the racing will be bittersweet this weekend at the O'Reilly NHRA Southern Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas. Despite the sadness at the passing of fellow Funny Car driver Eric Medlen, Ashley is convinced that the racing should continue.

"Racing is what we do, it's our job, our love, our passion -- and we will continue to race. But clearly, Eric was a wonderful part of the racing experience. The racers, crews and all of the rest who follow the NHRA tour are like one big family, this is a very serious blow to all of us," Ashley said.

Coming off of a disappointing performance in Gainesville, Ashley and the Gotham City Racing team are looking to get their performance together in front of the Houston crowd.

"We hadn't DNQ'd for 13 races, so it's definitely an aberration but, it's something that will happen to almost every team out here this year. The competition is great and you'll see popular and strong performers not qualify at some point this year," he said.

Ashley is currently No. 8 in both POWERade points and SKOAL Showdown points, and said he is anxious to move up in the rankings. This number is significant because only the top 8 cars have the opportunity to compete for the POWERade World Championship and in the highly touted Skoal Showdown when the NHRA tour rolls into Indy this summer.

"This is an awesome team, and a resilient bunch of guys. We're going for the win this weekend like every other weekend, only the loss of Eric puts a different perspective on the whole deal," Ashley said.

-credit: gcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Ashley , Eric Medlen